Walker Ponders Major Tax Reform for Wisconsin

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Thursday, 26 Dec 2013 01:12 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he is open to major tax overhauls in his February 2015 budget, including eliminating or reducing state income taxes.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Republican governor says he's also considering dropping technical colleges from local property tax rolls.

"I don't have any preconceived notion on this. It's not like I have one goal," Walker told the newspaper.

"The only goal is I want the overall tax burden to go down every year I'm in office . . . What we're trying to do is have these early discussions that aren't threatening."

Walker, a possible contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, admitted that completely eliminating state income taxes wouldn't be an easy task.

"[It's] literally almost impossible to do unless you have some kind of transfer to the sales tax or something like that," he said.

"Our goal overall is to reduce the tax burden. You can do that, but you can only go so far unless you have some other change out there."

Walker told the Journal Sentinel he has learned from the failures of Republican governors who quickly pushed huge tax overhauls in Nebraska and Louisiana without laying the groundwork with voters.

The state income tax will bring in an estimated $7.65 billion in the second year of the budget, which runs from 2013 to 2015, the newspaper reports.

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